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The Masthead | Local Blog

Gig Harbor has a new downtown grocery store:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/21/15

Here’s some good news Gig Harbor residents and boaters who have been longing for a grocery store downtown — Harbor General Store will officially open its doors April 11 on Pioneer Way, just half a block from the waterfront.

The combination grocery store/deli was open for business before that date, but until the April 11 grand opening, it was still something of a work in progress, according to owner Stephanie Sagle. View full story at Kitsap Sun.


New water taxi MV Sally Fox will be dedicated March 28 at Vashon terminal:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/20/15

King County is about to deliver a new addition to Vashon Island. She’s sleek, sturdy and stretches more than 100 feet. She’s high-tech, highly efficient - yet lightweight. And even though she’s young, she’ll have no problem replacing the Melissa Ann when she brings state-of the-art passenger-only ferry service to the island.

King County and Vashon Island will officially welcome the M.V. Sally Fox to th...eir water taxi family at 1 p.m. Saturday March 28. The celebration and vessel dedication, hosted by King County Executive Dow Constantine and other dignitaries, will be held at the Vashon Island Water Taxi Dock. The dedication will be followed by refreshments, music and free rides on the Sally Fox until 4 p.m.

The Sally Fox is expected to be placed into active service in early April after a thorough crew familiarization and training program has been completed. The vessel is expected to arrive in Seattle today with training in Elliott Bay beginning as early as Monday and continuing over the next several weeks.

The M.V. Sally Fox is one of two new catamarans replacing the Melissa Ann and Rachel Marie – 27 year-old leased boats that have been operating from Vashon Island and West Seattle to downtown Seattle since 2010. A third vessel, the Spirit of Kingston, will remain part of the county’s water taxi fleet. View full story at West Seattle Herald.


Kidde Recalls Disposable Plastic Fire Extinguishers Due to Failure to Discharge:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/20/15

Recall Summary - Name of product: Kidde plastic valve disposable fire extinguishers

Hazard: A faulty valve component can cause the disposable fire extinguishers not to fully discharge when the lever is repeatedly pressed and released during a fire emergency, posing a risk of injury.

Units; About 4.6 million units in the U.S. and 175,000 in Canada

This recall involves 31 models of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers with Zytel® black plastic valves. The recalled extinguishers are red, white or silver and are either ABC or BC rated. The ratings can be found to the right of the nameplate. Manufacture dates included in the recall are July 23, 2013 through October 15, 2014. A 10-digit date code is stamped on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. View more infromation here including model numbers recalled.View more infromation below including model numbers recalled.


Boater rescued from chilly Hood Canal waters:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/19/15

An important reminder for wearing a lifejacket.

On March 18th- A boater who had been on Hood Canal in a small aluminum boat was lucky to get a bit of help after observant citizens plucked him from the cold water March 18.

According to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, someone called 911 to report a possible boat adrift and a boater having problem on Hood Canal near the area of NW Rhoda Lane at 4:08 p.m.

The caller and his brother hopped in their own boat to investigate. They found the small aluminum boat, but it was empty.

At this time the caller had been contacted by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's duty chief. The duty chief advised the caller to travel back to the original location where the boater had been sighted. The caller and his brother returned to that area, approximately three quarters of a mile away, and found the boater in the cold water.

The boater was not wearing a life jacket and it was estimated he had been in the water for approximately 30 minutes. The brothers pulled him into their boat and took him to the boat launch on Misery Point where a CKFR medic unit was waiting.

The United States Coast Guard had also sent a helicopter to the area to aid in the search.

As the weather continues to get nicer and people get out onto the water more often, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue reminds everyone to wear a life jacket when out on any type of watercraft.  Source: Central Kitsap Reporter


Two People Swim to Safety After Tug Boat Sinks Off B.C. Coast - in the Straights of Georgia:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/19/15

Having just enough time to abandon their quickly sinking tug boat in the Georgia Straight, two people swam to the safety of a nearby Island.

According to Jeff Olsson, the Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria, the vessel sank a little after 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon near Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast....
Concerned citizens on the coast line noticed the sinking tug and notified the coast guard.

Olsson said the tug was sinking so quickly that the two people on board didn’t have enough time to call for help.

The two people abandoned the tug and swam to Merry Island where a lighthouse keeper kept them warm while they awaited medical attention.View full story at


Potential canoe and kayak move met with resistance by boat shop:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/19/15

A potential dock shuffle on the waterfront has turned into a kerfuffle between two Gig Harbor organizations....

The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Club is looking to move to another dock in the city. A potential move to Eddon Boat Dock has upset members of Gig Harbor Boat Shop, who feel the dock cannot support two tenants.

At the March 9 Gig Harbor City Council meeting, members of the boat shop took to the microphone to share their concern. The comments came up in the public comments section, and were not part of the official meeting agenda.

City Administrator Ron Williams said the long-term plan is to place the club at a renovated Ancich Netshed and upland park, but that project is currently seeking a grant.

The club will eventually need a better place to operate than out of Skansie, but that better place is “still kind of up in the air,” Williams said. View full story at


Thunderbird season on Port Townsend Bay:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/18/15

A growing group of fast, easy, one-design boats becomes Fleet 33.

Boat lovers may have noticed a gaggle of sister hulls around the Port Townsend Boat Haven lately. In the last five years, the local fleet of Thunderbirds has grown from two or three boats to 14, six to eight of which race regularly, said local T-bird sailor Joe Daubenberger.

Recognizable by their Seahawks-like logo – a profile of a big-beaked bird’s head – and the hulls’ distinctive “hard chine” shape, the 26-foot sloop's design is by ...Seattle naval architect Ben Seaborn. It came about because of a 1950s competition sponsored by a plywood company.

The original plywood boats – fiberglass ones exist, too – are aging, but there are still a lot of them around, especially here. Port Townsend’s group of Thunderbirds was recently granted fleet status by the International Thunderbird Class Association: Fleet No. 33. View full story at


Historic fishing boat Avalon documented by Gig Harbor BoatShop:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/13/15

One of the best-known fishing boats ever built in Gig Harbor has met a bittersweet fate.

Earlier this month, the purse seiner Avalon, built in the Skansie shipyard, was dismantled in Port Townsend.

But even as was torn apart, every board and bit of hardware was documented by the Gig Harbor BoatShop.

Earlier this year, the Avalon was declared “derelict” by the Department of Natural Resources after it sank in the Hood Canal. View full story at Kitsap Sun.


Small Locks Closure: March 9th - 29th, 2015

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/11/15

The Hiram M. Chittenden small lock will be closed for an annual inspection and maintenance repairs as of 1200 on March 9th. The planned reopening is scheduled for 1500 on March 29th This is a longer closure than is normal due to additional projects being completed. The large lock will remain operational during this period. For additional information, contact lockmasters at 206-789-2622.


Boat runs aground in Magnolia, stranding owner:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/05/15

SEATTLE -- People walking along the beach this week at Discovery Park are finding a new and unexpected attraction.

A boat has run aground just off shore of at the Magnolia park. But it's not just any boat -- it's a couple's home.

Tim Thompson bought a boat on Craigslist for $500. Several days ago a windstorm pushed the boat ashore, where it has sat since then.

Thompson was living on the boat that happens to be named "Permanent Address." Without it he and his girlfriend are homeless.

"Honestly, I was devastated because it was the only place to live at the moment," Thompson said.  View full story at KOMO News (with video).


Shipwright takes on Western Flyer Restoration:

by Northwest Boating Information on 03/05/15

Mark Stout of Scow Bay Boats said he is "rather thrilled" with the prospect of restoring the Western Flyer, which is not just any old wooden boat.

He started work last week overseeing what he estimates would be at least a year-long restoration of the boat that famous American author John Steinbeck chartered in 1940 for an expedition to Mexico's Sea of Cortez.

"The Steinbeck thing is groovy and all that, but I'm really into it because it was built in Tacoma ... there's not many of that style left," Stout said of the 76-foot purse seiner built in 1937. View full story at


SR 520 - Floating Bridge and Landings: Boater Information

by Northwest Boating Information on 02/20/15

UPDATE from WSDOT: SR 520 drawspan closed, east navigation channel open.

On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 17 , construction activities for the new floating bridge permanently blocked the drawspan on the existing SR 520 floating bridge.  

At the same time, the east navigation channel was reopened, allowing boats up to 58 feet tall to navigate around both the existing floating bridge and construction for the new floating bridge. The west navigation channel remains open to vessels up to 45 feet tall. View full detail here at WSDOT.


Boat traffic rerouted with new 520 bridge span

by Northwest Boating Information on 02/17/15

Boats sailing in Lake Washington will have to take a different path for passing the 520 bridge for a while.

Dave Becher, Washington State Transportation Floating Bridge and Landings Manager, told KIRO Radio starting Tuesday, the new bridge will extend beyond the current drawspan, effectively blocking the channel for boats to pass through the middle of the existing bridge.

"The only time that the drawspan will open is for our regular maintenance closures that occur late at night or early in the morning once a month or if there's a large windstorm where they need to take the pressure off the bridge."

WSDOT says since construction on the new floating bridge began in 2012 and blocked the old bridge's east navigation channel, the drawspan has opened for marine traffic more than 600 times.

The new six-lane bridge won't have a drawspan. It will have an east high-rise clearance of 70 feet. That matches the height of the I-90 East Channel Bridge.

Until the new bridge's scheduled opening in spring 2016, tall boats will need to go under the old bridge's 58-foot-tall high-rise near the Medina shoreline.

There are 60 pleasure and commercial boats that won't be able to fit underneath.

Transportation officials say they've been working with the boating community to tell them they have to pick a side of Lake Washington, either north or south of 520.  Story from


Youth Sailing Open House of Puget Sound - Press Release:

by Northwest Boating Information on 02/05/15

Learn about all the ways to get your kids out on the water this summer! March 28th, 2015

Seattle, February 5, 2015—Rat from the Wind in the Willows was right. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Fortunately for Puget Sound area residents, we live in a boating paradise with an abundance of programs and opportunities for kids to learn how to mess about in sailboats. From local after-school programs to day camps to multi-week voyages to Desolation Sound, on boats as small as eight feet and as large as 133 feet, the options are endless. Windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and rowing are also offered by some groups.     Click here for more details.


Anacortes Fishing Derby Cancelled

by Northwest Boating Information on 02/04/15

Not every salmon derby survived the closure of Area 7 as well as the Roche Harbor Classic. The Anacortes Fishing Derby, scheduled for March 21-22, has been cancelled, according to Anacortes Derby Chairman Jay Field.

View full details at Northwest Yachting Magazine.



Seattle Boat Show Sails in to Town January 23, 2015 & Show Updates:

by Northwest Boating Information on 01/22/15

Line up of fun includes SUP jousting tournament, wine and beer tastings, amphibious craft and tons of kids activities

SEATTLE – January  2015 – From stand up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between, there’s lots to take in at the Seattle Boat Show (Indoors +Afloat). The 2015 show drops anchor on Jan. 23 and runs through Jan 31. The largest show on the West Coast, it features some 1,000 boats and yachts in two locations, more than three acres of accessories, electronics and boating gear, 430+ exhibitors, 225 free seminars and advanced training classes for a fee. There’s also tons of fun to be had at the show.

View Seattle Boat Show Press Release here.


Federal legislation could limit bans on lead in fishing tackle:

by Northwest Boating Information on 01/22/15

When legislators approved and President Barack Obama signed the federal spending bill a few weeks ago, one provision prohibited the use of federal funds to enact statewide or local bans on the sale and use of lead in fishing tackle.

Included in the 2015 omnibus spending bill, courtesy of the Toxic Substances Control Act and benefiting anglers who use lead-based fishing tackle, the prohibition against using federal funds to ban lead products from recreational activity could prevent certain regulations from being enacted.

“We see the omnibus package as a temporary fix. It means federal money cannot be used to ban lead fishing tackle,” Libby Yranski, government relations coordinator for American Sportfishing Association (ASA), said, adding the advocacy group has for a few years been working on permanent legislation to create an exemption from banning lead-based fishing tackle.

Specifically, the exemption means lead-based fishing tackle cannot be banned locally. State and local regulation of lead-based fishing tackle could still be enacted and enforced without the use of federal funds.   View full story at The Log.


Seattle Boat Show Will Close One Day Early for the Super Bowl:

by Northwest Boating Information on 01/20/15

Upon further review, the ruling has been confirmed — it’s a repeat for the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Boat Show. Seattle Boat Show organizers have once again decided to pay homage to the home team by ending the show one day early so that exhibitors, event staff and showgoers can watch the Seahawks bring home their second Vince Lombardi trophy with friends and family. The show will close at 8pm on Saturday, Jan. ...31. That still gives boating enthusiasts nine full days to visit the West Coast’s largest boat show, with two locations, at CenturyLink Field Event Center and South Lake Union.

The Seattle Boat Show opens at 11am on Friday Jan. 23. In further celebration of the team, Seattle Boat Show and BoatUS are giving one lucky boater a pair of 2015 Seahawks Season Tickets. Tickets to the Seattle Boat Show are an auspicious $12.  View full story at Boating Industry:


Solo Ocean Rower has Boat Built in Port Townsend:

by Northwest Boating Information on 01/09/15

Baumstein wants to be first woman to row solo across Pacific. 

Port Townsend has always attracted adventurous seafarers, and a prime example is Sonya Baumstein, 29, who is undertaking an ep...ic voyage for the sake of the Pacific Ocean.

A boat has been built here that she plans to row the 6,000 miles from Japan to California. Baumstein has no support boat, no engine and no sails. She expects the solo rowing adventure to take as long as 180 days. View full story at PTLeader:


Wooden Boat School in Port Hadlock to Expand:

by Northwest Boating Information on 01/09/15

 PORT HADLOCK — The Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding will begin construction this month on a 1,000-square-foot milling room to house large machinery.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Betsy Davis, who took over management of the school at 42 North Water St. in October.

“It will allow more efficient dust collection,” the executive director said, “and make it easier for the students to hear their instructors because they won’t have to compete with the sound of large milling equipment.”

The school, now in its 33rd year, attracts students from around world and from as far away as Australia, Austria, South Korea and Tanzania.

Its mission is to teach and preserve traditional and contemporary wooden-boat-building skills while developing the individual as a craftsman.

Students build boats ranging from 9 feet to 40 feet from scratch. Upon completing the one-year program, they are awarded an associate degree in occupational studies.

Construction of the new milling room will begin this month and take about 30 days, Davis said. View full story at Peninsula Daily News:


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March 28th, 2015
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